Iran showing 'contempt' for human rights, says Amnesty

Iran showing 'contempt' for human rights, says Amnesty

By agency reporter
22 Feb 2010

Amnesty International has strongly criticised the Iranian regime for rejecting important recommendations by the United Nations to improve human rights in the country.

The recommendations rejected by Iran include: ending the execution of juvenile offenders; upholding fair trial guarantees, investigating torture allegations, including rape and releasing people detained for peacefully exercising their human rights.

The Iran delegation also only paid lip service to cooperation with the Human Rights Council, say critics.

While accepting a recommendation to cooperate with the UN’s human rights experts, Iran rejected several others allowing the Council’s Special Rapporteur on torture to visit the country.

The delegation accepted the recommendation to respect freedom of religion but rejected a recommendation to end discrimination against the Bahais.

“By rejecting specific recommendations made by dozens of countries, the Iranian authorities showed contempt for international obligations just as they have done in their treatment of their own people,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

“By promising to consider recommendations to eliminate the execution of juvenile offenders, the Iranian authorities are cynically camouflaging their existing obligation under the Convention on the Rights of the Child not to execute juvenile offending,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

The UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva has been reviewing Iran’s human rights record where the Iran delegation responded to a series of recommendations put to them by other UN member states.

The delegation accepted 123 recommendations, reserved its position on 20 others and rejected 45 recommendations.

Amnesty International says it is perplexed by the numerous contradictions between the recommendations accepted and those rejected.

The "cavalier rejection" of some recommendations similar to others accepted, casts doubt on the willingness of the authorities to implement the recommendations that have been accepted, the global human rights NGO declares.

Iran has said it is carrying out investigations into cases of torture and killing that occurred during the unrest following the presidential election in June 2009.

However, despite reports of parliamentary investigations, no one appears to have been brought to justice over the killing of Neda Agha Soltan, a peaceful demonstrator who was shot in a street in June 2009, or of Mohsen Ruholamini who died in custody in July 2009.

On the other hand, it rejected recommendations on investigations of torture allegations and unlawful killings and thereby perpetuated a climate of impunity.

The country’s authorities also said they would strengthen cooperation with human rights organisations, yet they have failed to respond to repeated requests by Amnesty International to meet with members of the Iranian delegation.

”For human rights to really improve in Iran, the authorities must end the double-speak and take concrete measures, like ending the execution of juvenile offenders; ensure fair trials; halt torture and end impunity for all violations”,say Amnesty.

[Ekk/3]

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